Here is a delicious recipe offering the rejuvenative qualities of saffron and almonds along with the digestibility of basmati rice.
1 cup basmati rice
1 ¾- 2 cups water
1/3 tsp saffron threads
3 Tbs ghee
¼ cup slivered almonds
1-2 tsps minced hot green chillies
1 ½ Tbs minced ginger
6 whole cloves
1 tsp cumin seeds
½ tsp black mustard seeds
1 small cassia or bay leaf
½ cup chopped green or red bell pepper
1 medium firm ripe tomato, finely chopped
1 tsp salt
Bring water to a boil, remove from heat, add saffron and set aside at least10-15 minutes (the longer you soak saffron the better; overnight is great!)
Heat ghee over moderate heat until hot. Add slivered almonds and stir-fry until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Drop in chillies, ginger, cloves, cumin, mustard seeds and bay leaf. Fry until mustard seeds turn grey and pop.
Add bell pepper, sauté 4-5 minutes. Stir in rice and fry 1-2 minutes.
Add saffron water, tomato and salt. Bring to a boil. Immediately reduce heat to low, cover and gently simmer without stirring for 20-25 minutes or until rice is tender and fluffy.
Remove from heat and let sit covered for 5 minutes.
Gently fold in the almonds or serve as a garnish for guests to add as they please.
Source: Adapted from Yamuna Devi, Lord Krishna's Cuisine: The Art of Indian Vegetarian Cooking (New York: E.P. Dutton, 1987).
Alakananda Ma M.B., B.S. (Lond.) is an Ayurvedic Doctor (NAMA) and graduate of a top London medical school. She is co-founder of Alandi Ayurveda Clinic and Alandi Ayurveda Gurukula in Boulder Colorado, as well as a spiritual mother, teacher, flower essence maker and storyteller. Alakananda is a well known and highly respected practitioner in the Ayurveda community both nationally and internationally.
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